As if the world’s frogs didn’t already have enough problems. Now, rare amphibians in BC are being threatened by a lethal fungus carried by invasive bullfrogs.
[A] University of Victoria research paper…finds that the alien American bullfrog—originally brought over in the 1930s for the province’s frog-farming industry—has infected native species such as the rough-skinned newt and the northern leopard frog…
Although the fungus-carrying American bullfrogs are not affected themselves, [fungal] spores are shed in the water and can bind to the epidermis of other amphibians. Once infected, the sick amphibian’s skin reddens and sheds unusual amounts before the animal dies.
Apparently, it’s not easy being green.
Find this article interesting? Support more research like this with a gift!
The solution here, if there is one, is to enlist people’s help in stopping the spread of invasive frogs. From the Globe and Mail:
[I]f B.C. wants to protect its unique and endangered amphibians, humans need to realize the everyday impact they can have on aquatic ecosystems, Dr. Anholt said.
“We hope people will be more well aware of moving tadpoles in buckets.
“It’s great to have kids be interested in biology, but bullfrogs can get spread about and take the fungus with them.”
Humans are the primary way by which bullfrogs migrate. Other factors such as converting ponds to permanent ponds, introducing fish to fishless ponds and cutting down trees near native frog habitats only make it easier for the predatory bullfrogs to thrive.
Sounds to me like anyone who helps spread bullfrogs ought to be knee-deep in trouble. (OK, that’s dumb, I’ll stop now.)